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University of Minnesota Extension

Benton County Farm Family

Emslander Farms

The Emslander farm was purchased in 1971 by Dave and Rosie Emslander. They began their dream of farming by raising a couple of sows and selling feeder pigs at market until 1973 when the couple decided to milk a few cows. They started with 10 and slowly increased their herd to 30 cows. In 1980, the Emslanders doubled their barn size and began milking 60 cows.

Dave and Rosie had nine children. All the kids helped on the farm when they were young. The Emslanders sold their milk cows when their youngest child, David, left to work construction in 2000. Dave and Rosie still raised some steers, beef cows and row crops. 

David missed the way farm life brings family together so he and his wife, Lisa, decided farming would be a good way to raise their family and purchased the farm in 2014. David and Lisa started out by buying bottle calves and raising them to finish. Currently, the couple buys steers at 400 pounds and finishes them. David and Lisa have three children: Shayla, Ethan and Megan. Shayla helps full-time on the farm and loves farming; she hopes to become a big part of the future of the farm that her grandparents started. Ethan helps with a lot of the projects on the farm and is leaning toward working in the construction industry. The Emslanders’  youngest daughter, Megan, helps with a variety of chores including driving the bobcat and bedding the cattle. Megan also loves farming.

Along with some outside, part-time help, the Emslanders run the farm together. The family teams up with Extension and their local NRCS to improve water quality and soil conservation by experimenting with different management practices and cover crops.

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